UTI/Stones in male cat- long term outlook/things to do to help?

Newer cat owners- we’ve had two brothers for a little over 2 years now. Before that I hadn’t had a cat since I was a kid. Both rescues- friendly, cuddly, the absolutely best orange kitties you could ever ask for.

One of them peed on my husband comforter earlier this week and it was pink tinged with blood. They NEVER have mistakes, so I knew something was wrong. So we got him into the vet first thing the next morning. Poor guy had a fever, bit of an ear infection and ended up having a UTI and a stone after x-ray and urinal sample.

He’s on a couple oral meds and ear drops- I have to check after work to see what the 2 meds are, I just can’t remember right now. And they said both should be switched to the Royal Canin Urinary SO food probably permanently. She told my husband once they get this once it’s often a life long concern and that male cats often have narrow urine canals/tubes and that he appears to have a small bladder and could use to lose a little weight and that this can be genetic. We’re scheduled for a follow up in a month to re-xray to see the status of the stone and that if it does get stuck or become a probably he might need surgery to remove it.

What is the long term outlook for cats like this? I’ve been a lifelong dog owner and had horses for 20 plus years and don’t know as much about cats, so this was eye opening! And we absolutely love these 2 guys!

Is there usually good luck with the Royal Canin Urinary food preventing future issues? I’m also adding another waterer for them but they’re generally decent drinkers. Anything else I can do to help prevent?


I had a male cat with urinary problems and our vet had us switch to bottled water as we are on a well.
We fed urinary tract support food as well. Our cat did well with both and lived to 18 years of age.
Good luck with your kitty!


I had one who had bladder stones quite badly - he had to have surgery to remove them once, in fact.

We put him on the SD urinary formula, and he was also on two meds - Piroxicam? and something else, I think it started with an M. He was on those daily for a while, then tapered off until he was off them completely after about a year. He stayed on the SD for about three years. But after that, he had no other issues, and lived to be about 18. So yes, it’s totally manageable.

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I’ve had 2 cats with this issue. The first cat, Ed, ended up having PU surgery since he had several attacks. It went smoothly and he lived a good long life. We did joked that he went from Ed to Edwina.

My current cat, Lowell, had one crystal attack about 10 years ago. Vet got him cleared out and then he went on the prescription food. I also got a fountain for the cats which they love. No problems since.

In my experience it’s a very manageable issue.

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I’ve got the Postercat for FIC :smirk:
He’s fat & orange.
No stones but he’s been hospitalized 2X for the issue.
Vet sells Hill’s & recommended the urinary diet.
Cat Would.Not. eat the dry or canned versions.
With his approval (cat, not vet :roll_eyes:) I’ve settled on Iams Urinary kibble & the only wet food he’ll eat longer than a day is the Delectables treats.
Because I have 2 cats - the other is a smaller gray tuxedo w/o any problems - they’re both on the diet.
It’s been over a year w/o a problem for Tubbo McTubberson :smirk_cat:
His name is Cheeto & his BC(at)FF is Bounce


Thank you all for your responses! Good to hear they live good long manageable lives!

We do have well water so maybe I can buy them like a brita filter and I see people suggesting a fountain waterer too for cats. Might try one of those as well.

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When I was a vet tech, we had several regularly urinary kitties.

Most cats do well with prescription diets and increased water intake (add it to their food if they tolerate it, and use water fountains to encourage drinking).

Male cats can develop blockages from crystals/stones, which is an emergency situation. Monitor urine output daily, and pay special attention to any signs of straining or discomfort.


I had a male Persian who loved the SD food. He lived to be 18 or 19 and never had another problem after the first occurrence with stones.

As everyone else has already said, this is a manageable condition and your cat should have a long and happy life. I just want to add that you should always watch out for any signs of straining or frequent trips to the litter box. If a stone or crystals cause a blockage it is a life-threatening emergency. Please don’t wait until the next day to call the vet, even if it’s the middle of the night. It’s very painful for the cat, and a blocked urinary tract can quickly damage the kidneys. One of my friends waited until the next day to call her vet when her cat had a stone. Unfortunately, that cat died.

On the recommendation of many here, I bought this fountain:

My cats all love it, and it comes with charcoal filters that are really easy to replace. I replace mine about once a month.

My Nigel, who was a kidney cat, loved water from my Brita pitcher. Wouldn’t drink anything else, really. I ended up using the Brita pitcher to fill the Catit fountain. :crazy_face:

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I almost lost Rotten Ralph to a stuck stone six years ago. He was rushed to surgery and as soon as he was put under his urethra relaxed and spit the stone out. Ralph was very lucky and so was I, the bill was less than a 1/4 of what it would have been if he needed surgery. I put Ralph and the other 5 of my cats on the dry Royal Canin Urinary SO and have had no repeats of stones or UTI’s. All of my cats drank a lot of water before but the Urinary SO makes them drink even more water.

Several vets have told me that stones are more common in red males. I have four red males and feel better having put them all on the Urinary SO.

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I have four waterers and I fill them with nothing except Brita filtered water.

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I have two brothers who have bladder issues. One boy (the yellow cat of course) Duncan gets crystals and what the vet calls idiopathic mucous plugs. His brother, Jack (a tabby) gets crystals and stones. Lucky me. Not.

Duncan has been on the Royal Canin SO for over a year and before that Hills CD. He and Jack have been cut off dry food completely, drink only bottled water and we have had no problems. Both cats are now 16 and have lived with this since they were 7. They hate that they can’t have dry food but TUF - you’ll live, boys. Duncan loves his special food - I get Royal Canin So Calming.

It can be done but you have to persist thru some tantrum throwing and general refusal to eat what good for them but they will survive and WILL eat their food.


I tried all six of my cats on the wet Royal Canin Urinary SO. Two of them tolerated it for a few days and then wouldn’t eat it. I tried to get them all to eat the wet for four days to no avail, they all went on a hunger strike. My vet said that the vast majority of their Urinary SO cat customers will not eat the wet.

I guess mine have learned the drill. If you ain’t eating, you ain’t hungry. Plus I’m not above force-feeding when necessary. And at nearly $60 for a case of 24 3 oz cans I’m not throwing money away. Eat the damn food.


I had one who had a crystal issue. After initial vet treatment, the only permanent change was switching food. It didn’t require rx food, just a different brand. That was sufficient & he never had another problem. No long term medication needed.

edited to fix an autocorrect error.

Great job of catching this before it went too far. Those orange boys are lucky to have you. As many others have said this is pretty common and very treatable.

The biggest thing is to encourage more water drinking. Mine live the water fountain and they get the same filtered water that we drink.

We free-feed RC kibble, and we feed canned pate food 2x a day but we mix in an extra can of water with it so it’s a soupy consistency. The only food all 4 can agree on is fancy feast chicken :woman_facepalming:t3: but the vet said that eating any canned food is better than kibble.

He’s been incident free for 10 years, so diet change is huge, do what you can to increase water intake, and monitor behavior for signs.

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Both wet and dry RC Urinary SO is quite expensive, but the alternatives are worse. An 8kg bag is $152.00 and it lasts my 6 cats for almost a month.

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Thank you everyone for your responses! I was so worried last week, all this info makes me feel a lot better.

Herman seems to be feeling better now that he’s been on meds for a few days now. He’s using his litter box normally again. I’ve witnessed him peeing in it fine (we moved one up to our bathroom so we could supervise a little more), no straining or crying. Who would have thought we’d be so excited about normal cat pee haha!? The plan is to go back for a follow up X-ray in 1 month unless something else happens before then.

Both cats are eating the Royal Canin Urinary food fine, took them less than a day to get over the change. I think they were stressed aways so weren’t that hungry.

The only weird thing is the cats are acting like they are strangers! I’m assuming Herman (the one with the UTI) seems weird between going to the vets and the medication he is on. So there has been some hissing, yowling and an occasional chase going on. The other kitty Thymos has been spending a lot of time hiding. The vet and a couple friends said that was a pretty normal thing. I just felt bad as they’re like the best of friends, they cuddle and watch birds together, lick each other, follow each other, etc. usually.

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Oh and I have a Brita on the way- should be here in a day or two. But Herman has been drinking well I bought them another waterer, so they have 3 options now. And I’m refreshing every night/morning.